A new policy has been instituted at Keene State College in which new first-year students need to have their spring semester classes approved by their advisors.
According to Director of Academic and Career Advising (ACA) Pat Halloran, the policy isn’t new at all, it’s been around for quite awhile. She said, “Three or four semesters ago, required advising was launched in the math and geology departments.
That meant that a registration hold was placed on all the declared majors in those departments. Students were required to meet with their advisor to have the hold released.” Now in the 2016 academic school year, all first-year students can expect to receive academic advising, which Halloran considers to be a good decision, as she said she believes that when students communicate with faculty, the chances of success in school and life increase for that student tremendously.
Now that this class advising is mandatory, the chances of students being successful at KSC should go up tenfold. Halloran said she knows the importance of communication and that’s why she is making this mandatory.
“Research indicates that a relationship with faculty increases persistence and degree completion. Graduating KSC students report the importance of connection to faculty. Academic advising is one way to foster those interactions.
This project is designed to set the stage for those important connections at the start of a student’s career at KSC,” Halloran said This new way of having classes approved by your advisor isn’t just here for this year either. Halloran has plans to make it stick around for the long hull so one can expect next year’s first-years to have to go through the same thing. ACA has also held meetings for faculty to understand the process of approving their students’ classes.
Chemistry professor and department chair Denise Junge said she hopes this will make life easier for students.
“I hope this will really improve the advising on campus. Many students self-advise and if they are not aware of the program or class changes, it can affect when they complete their program,” she said.
Junge said the changes for her are not as chaotic as some of her colleagues. “We have 12 to 16 in the chemistry department so it’s not an overburden. But I feel for the larger departments that are struggling,” she said.
Junge continued that she appreciates communicating with her students. “I like forming these bonds, it has a positive impact,” she said.
KSC first-year Mayavati Terra is undecided in her major and said she agrees that the new policy is helpful. “The teachers have had years of experience working with students to help them plan their futures,” she said.
KSC senior and transfer Rachel Cote said at her past school, students had to get their classes approved every year as a student. She said for her it didn’t bother her.
“I personally didn’t have any issues with it. It seemed helpful to have a guide,” she said. Cote said however, she had friends who had issues with it. “If they wanted to take a specific class and the advisor would refuse, they’d have to find a new advisor,” she said.
Cote said if she could give any advice to first years, it would be to plan carefully. She said, “Get the required classes out of the way before you have to take others.”
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